Unsolved Silent

Solo Exhibition
17 January - 28 February 2023
Redbase Foundation Indonesia


In my personal history, poetry has always been a huge part of my culture and family life. It has inspired me and comforted me in darker times. The words spin themselves like a web that stretches to wherever I find myself, and have become such an integral part of my artworks. Carpet making also influenced my works. I first learned about the craft of carpet making after moving to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2000 when my family had to move from Bamiyan because of problems with the Taliban.
Although it might appear that the visual images are randomly connected, this is not the case. Subconsciously I add picture by picture that responded to each other. Each picture, each character makes many memories come alive; things that happened in my early childhood, like playing with war leftover known as cluster munitions when we live in Bamiyan, and the displacement of moving between Kabul and Bamiyan many times. It makes me smile, make me sad, make me thankful, and make me remember many moments I had forgotten. I can feel and start remembering moments and stories that make me inspired to move forward. It makes me think that at the end of every darkness there is light.
The process of the artworks, I pre-select what images should be painted; these images were inspired by miniature paintings, Old Persian manuscripts and cultural items from present times. This strangely revealed an odd kind of relationship between the feeling and imagery. A narrative began to emerge linking the different aspects of the symbols, myths and poetry, which were all threaded together by strings of marigolds.
For this series of paintings, I used not only watercolors but also gouache, ink, acrylic paints, as well as gold and silver leaf. Each of these mediums has its personal meaning and usage for me. The symbols are representations of things that are real, while the myths reflect things that aren’t considered to be real, but between the two is a point of crossover.
Some of the symbols are direct references to their real-world counterparts, such as the weapons, military equipment, flowers and Buddhas, while others such as the horses and crows are metaphors. The horses are representations of good companion, power and also discovery (novelty), while the crows are the smart people who can take advantage of any situation and find opportunities.
The human figures are neither symbols nor myths, but describe the aspects of diversity and adversity in everyday life, but these characters maintain a belief in a better life and strive towards this.
Examples of mythology can be found in the images of demons, these creatures struggle to find a true identity, but have become dehumanized by political situations, beliefs and manipulations of the intangibilities of the conflicts of the mind.
When I was a child, we used to collect discarded ammunition, rockets and bombs that were left over from the various conflicts. We would bring them back to my father who knew how to defuse these weapons. Some parts were sold as scrap metals, others became ornaments around our home, like the bomb cones used as flowerpots. The remaining parts became our toys, a particular favorite being the rockets as they had mini parachutes. Unfortunately, the conflict has not ended, and weapons are still a part of every day of life in Afghanistan. I use weapons in my artwork because they are both a symbol of destruction and manipulation that surround people life.

Amin Taasha, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Selected Artworks